It’s difficult to believe that we are reaping such a harvest from our garden already, but there it is. Several pounds of green beans, more onions than I can imagine what to do with, and peppers so numerous they nearly weigh the poor plants down. So I spent a good portion of my weekend washing, blanching, boiling, and sending my son out with numerous bowls of compost to dump.
The first canning project was the absolute most important one: dilly beans. If you haven’t had them, you are seriously missing out on one of the best taste experiences ever. Basically, they’re pickled green beans. If you decide to make them (versus buying them for upwards of $7 a jar at the grocery store), do yourself a favor and don’t use the cheater mixes from the grocery store. They’re too sweet and are actually harder to make.
Two hours and lots of sweat later, I had four pints of dilly beans in a stately row on a bath towel on the counter. I admired them, wishing I could make another batch, and thinking about how much my feet hurt from standing in the kitchen. Then I decided it was time to make relish…
A good start to canning this year.
Do you know what these beautiful jars in the top of my pantry are? They are something I have subconsciously looked to have in storage for the majority of my adult life: a piece of childhood.
When I made these, I was surprised to find that many people don’t know what dilly beans are, and have never heard of them. To quote one of my favorite movies, to me this is “Inconceivable!” My mom made dilly beans every summer for as long as I could remember. When there was a jar in the fridge, I couldn’t stay away from them. Being quite the night owl, I would sneak out of my bedroom and to the fridge. Using the ninja-like qualities that I surely possessed at five years old, I would get one dilly bean out of the fridge. I snuck it back to my bedroom and sat on the edge of my bed, enjoying every delicious bit of it. Then I would repeat my quiet quest, over and over and over again.
These beans came out of our garden this year, and since I used my mom’s recipe, they came out absolutely perfect! I still enjoy them as a late night snack, even though I don’t have to hide it anymore.